Sky Saxon Blues Band

Band members                             Related acts

  line up 1 (1965-68)

- Rick Andridge (RIP 2011) -- drums, percussion, backing vocals 

- Daryl Hooper -- organ, piano 

- Jan Savage (aka Buck Jan Reeder) (RIP 2020)-- lead guitar, gong, 

  backing vocals 

Sky Saxon (aka RItchie Marsh) (RIP 2009)-- lead vocals, bass,



  supporting musicians: (1967)

- Mark Arnold - guitar 

- James Wells Gordon - sax

- Luther Johnson - guitar 

- George "Harmonica" Smith - harmonica 


  line up 2 (1968-72)

NEW - Don Boomer -- drums, percussion, backing vocals  (replaced

  Rick Andridge )

- Daryl Hooper -- organ, piano 

NEW - Bob Borsoph -- lead guitar (replaced Jan Savage) 

Sky Saxon (aka RItchie Marsh) (RIP 2009) -- lead vocals, bass,



  line up 3 (1989)

- Rick Andridge (RIP 2011) -- drums, percussion, backing vocals 

- Daryl Hooper -- organ, piano 

- Jan Savage (aka Buck Jan Reeder) (RIP 2020) -- lead guitar,

  gong,  backing vocals 

Sky Saxon (aka RItchie Marsh) (RIP 2009) -- lead vocals, bass,



  line up 4 (2003)

NEW - Mark Bellgraph -- lead guitar

NEW - Rik Collins -- bass

NEW - David Klein -- keyboards

NEW - Justin Polimeni -- drums, percussion  

Sky Saxon (aka Ritchie Marsh) (RIP 2009) -- lead vocals, bass,






- Atlantic Rising (Sky Saxon)

- The Happy Hour Band (Sky Saxon)

- King Arthur's Court (Sky Saxon)

- The New Seeds (Sky Saxon)

- The Seeds  (Sky Saxon)

- Stars New Seeds (Sky Saxon)

- Sunlight Rainbow Seeds (Sky Saxon)

- Ya Ho Wa 13 (Sky Saxon)




Genre: blues

Rating: 2 stars **

Title:   A Full Spoon of Seedy Blues

Company: GNP Crescendo

Catalog: GNP 2040

Country/State: Los Angeles, California

Grade (cover/record): VG+/VG+

Comments: --

Available: 1

Catalog ID: --

Price: $40.00


Having made their reputation as a psych-tinged garage band, The Seeds decision to turn their attentions to the blues must have come as a major shock to their label and their fans.  In spite of being credited to The Sky Saxon Blues Band, 1967's Marcus Tybalt produced "A Full Spoon of Seedy Blues" served as The Seeds' fourth studio set.  Different name, but same personnel line up - as shown on the cover, singer/frontman Sky Saxon, drummer Rick Andridge, keyboardist Daryl Hooper, and guitarist Jan Savage.  Embracing the blues with their limited abilities, the band somehow convinced Muddy Waters to support the effort.  Waters contributed the song 'Plain Spoken' and allowed several members of his band to participate in the recording sessions.  Guitarists Mark Arnold and Luther Johnson, harmonica player George Smith, and sax player James Wells Gordon all added a touch of authenticity to the proceedings.  Johnson also contributed two songs to the album - 'Pretty Girl' and 'One More Time Blues.'  Waters also penned some effusive liner notes "They're great boys; they present a great sound.  Blues belongs to the soul, and they've got it!"   Of course you had to wonder if Waters ever heard these ten tracks; let alone what he thought of them.  


Anyhow, what you had here was a straight-ahead blues album.  A mixture of originals and covers, the performances were professional, but Saxon and company weren't blues musicians.  They collectively lacked the background and gravities to pull off these tunes and it showed time after time.  Saxon's voice just wasn't particularly suited to the blues.  Even worse were his lyrics. Tracks like 'Moth and the Flame', 'The Gardner' and 'Cry Wolf' just didn't cut it.


It shouldn't have come as a surprise, but critics thrashed the album and the band's fan base was left totally confused by the abrupt shift in musical direction.  The band's already slim sales skydived.  Saxon's gone on record as saying the decision to release a blues album was a desperate attempt to get out of the band's contract with Gene Norman's GNP Crescendo.  His somewhat warped logic was apparently along the lines of an album with poor sales would get the label to drop The Seeds.  Hum, guess the handful of folks who actually bought the album didn't really matter to Saxon.


"A Full Spoon of Seedy Blues" track listing:
(side 1)

1.) Pretty Girl   (Luther Johnson) - 1:58  rating: ** stars

The first of two Luther Johnson compositions, 'Pretty Girl' was a bland, pedestrian blues number.  The song simply underscored the fact Saxon didn't have the kind of deep, ragged voice that was more appropriate for the genres.  In fact, his performance reminded me of a flat version of George Thorogood.

2.) Moth and the Flame   (Sky Saxon) - 3:47  rating: ** stars

No idea why, but Saxon's belabored vocals and extended harmonica solo on 'Moth and the Flame' have always reminded me of The Rolling Stones version of 'Little Red Rooster.'  Just not as good.  Of course, 'Little Red Rooster' was the Stones trying to mimic Muddy Waters (with minimal success).  Another plodding three-chord blues patterned stab at trying to sound authentic.  

3.) I'll Help You (Carry Your Money To the Bank)   (Sky Saxon) - 3:27  rating: ** stars

Opening up with some likeable Daryl Hooper piano, the Saxon original blues-shuffle 'I'll Help You (Carry Your Money To the Bank)' at least had a cool title.  Elsewhere you were left to wonder whether Saxon's voice was going to make it through this one.

4.) Cry Wolf   (Sky Saxon) - 6:04   rating: *** stars

Well, I liked the slinky slide guitar on 'Cry Wolf.'  Unfortunately, clocking in at over six minutes, Saxon and company quickly wore out their welcome on this one.

5.) Plain Spoken   (Muddy Waters) - 2:52    rating: *** stars

Kudos getting Muddy Waters to contribute a song to the album.  Not many bands can claim that privilege.  Saxon and company apparently realized the were in special territory, reportedly recording the track 16 times before they were happy with it.  Another standard blues performance, Saxon's dry delivery again reminded me of George Thorogood and the Delaware Destroyers.


(side 2)
1.) The Gardner   (Sky Saxon) - 4:57
    rating: *** stars

I guess that if pressed, I would tag 'The Gardner' as one of the album's standout performance.  Nah, there's nothing original, or all that impressive here, but there was something funny hearing a stoned hippy sing about "five acres of cotton; three acres of 'taoters and a lot of soft grass."

2.) One More Time Blues   (Luther Johnson) - 2:25    rating: *** stars

The album's second Luther Johnson contribution, 'One More Time Blues' at least managed to generate a little bit of energy.  Hooper also got a brief opportunity to showcase his Farfisa organ work.   

3.) Creepin' About   (Sky Saxon) - 2:43    rating: *** stars

'Creepin' About' gave Andridge, Hopper and Savage a chance to showcase their chops.  Adding a touch of soul to the sound, with the focus on those three, you could largely overlook Saxon's vocals and his irritating harmonica.

4. Buzzin' Around   (Sky Saxon) - 3:43  rating: ** stars

The closer 'Buzzin' Around' found the band falling back to a conventional blues structure.  zzzzzzzzz